Articles written by Nick Thomas


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  • Paula Poundstone loves to work an audience

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jun 1, 2024

    As Paula Poundstone continues her 2024 U.S. tour, audiences can be assured of an evening of hilarity as the comedian launches into a string of humorous stories typical of most observational stand-up comics. But at some point into her routine, the sharp-witted Poundstone will seamlessly morph into her trademark banter with audience members-a part of the show fans have come to expect and adore. It's a style that evolved out of necessity. "I've been doing stand-up for over 40 years, but have a...

  • Actor David Selby's mom was a big fan

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|May 1, 2024

    Born and raised in West Virginia, David Selby's extensive film, television and stage career included prominent roles in two very different TV shows in different generations: ABC's gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows" in the 60s and the prime-time soap "Falcon Crest" on CBS in the 80s. "My mother (Sarah) loved that I was an actor," said Selby from Los Angeles, but she had no background in the entertainment world. Her upbringing in a coalmining town was a tough one, being responsible for raising her...

  • Diane Baker remembers TCM host Robert Osborne

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Apr 1, 2024

    The 15th Turner Classic Movies Film Festival is scheduled for April 18-21, in Hollywood. Canceled for a couple of years due to the pandemic, no one was more pleased to attend the festival when it resumed in person two years ago than actress Diane Baker, a popular guest at many of the past festivals. "I love them!" said Baker from Los Angeles, who noted that the 2020 and 2021 events had been held virtually. The five current TCM hosts-Ben Mankiewicz, Alicia Malone, Dave Karger, Eddie Muller and...

  • Billy Dee Williams-more than a charming space pirate

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Mar 1, 2024

    As any devoted Star Wars fan can deduce, the title of Billy Dee Williams' new autobiography, "What Have We Here?" released in February, is a nod to the actor's most famous character-Lando Calrissian. The smooth-talking caped space smuggler first greets Princess Leia with that line in 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back." While the feisty cinnamon-bunned princess may not have swooned on-screen when the charming Lando gently kissed her hand before eventually joining forces to save their galaxy...

  • Carole Wells remembers 'Oomph' actress Ann Sheridan

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Feb 1, 2024

    Born 109 years ago this February, glamorous actress Ann Sheridan (1915-1967) was destined for branding as the "Oomph Girl" following a mock contest organized by the Warner Brothers publicity department in 1939. Stunning on-screen and becoming a favorite pin-up girl of World War II troops, Sheridan could play any character-tough or tender, funny or flirty, sassy or seductive. She delighted audiences with her witty wisecracks and clever comebacks. While she certainly possessed an abundance of...

  • Joyce Bulifant's ups and downs of marriage and career

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jan 1, 2024

    For those who keep track of Hollywood nuptials, the title of Joyce Bulifant's 2017 autobiography may not represent a marital world record, but it's certainly an attention grabber. The actress, who co-starred in TV series such as "Flo" and "Mary Tyler Moore," recounted her life and career in "My Four Hollywood Husbands." Bulifant describes how alcohol influenced her four hubbies: "Hawaii Five-O" star James ("Danno") MacArthur; TV/film producer, director and screenwriter William Asher; "Days of...

  • Eddie Muller's case of the missing marshmallow monkey

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Dec 1, 2023

    If reading bedtime stories to the grandkids is a cherished family tradition, Eddie Muller has an unusual tale to share this holiday season: a gritty feline sleuth searches for a stolen artifact while encountering a host of seedy underground characters prowling through a shadowy urban setting. If that sounds like the plot from 1940s film noir cinema, you're no dope. In his first published children's book, "Kitty Feral and the Case of the Marshmallow Monkey," the Turner Classic Movies host has...

  • Actress pens Connecticut's Hollywood connections

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Nov 1, 2023

    In her new book, "Connecticut in the Movies" released in October, actress Illeana Douglas explores Hollywood's long love affair with the Constitution State. "The book features movies from the silent era to modern films that were either shot in Connecticut or featured the state in some way in the storyline or production," Douglas told me when we met at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, this past summer. "On the one hand, you've got country-living comedies...

  • Barry Bostwick wants you to do the Time Warp, again

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Oct 1, 2023

    With Halloween coming up, there's no better time to satisfy your "Rocky Horror Picture Show" craving than by doing the Time Warp with Barry Bostwick, who will be traveling the country in October for various conventions, appearances, and screenings of the 1975 musical comedy horror classic (see www.barrybostwick.com for dates and locations). Bostwick, who starred as clean-cut Brad Majors in the original film, has attended dozens of screenings over the years but still looks forward the most to...

  • Sidney Kibrick remembers 'Our Gang'

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Sep 1, 2023

    First screened in movie theaters during the early 1920s, the "Our Gang" film series was produced for another two decades and featured an ever-changing cast of children, showcasing their comedic neighborhood antics. Throughout the series of some 220 short films created by producer Hal Roach, about 40 child actors appeared regularly beginning in 1922's silent era and continuing through 1944. Sidney Kibrick is one of the last surviving "Our Gang" cast regulars. Kibrick, 95, appeared in more than...

  • Gary Puckett's powerful voice still delighting fans

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Aug 1, 2023

    Currently traveling the U.S. on the 2023 "Happy Together Tour" with classic pop acts such as The Turtles, The Cowsills, and Little Anthony (see www.happytogethertour.com ), Gary Puckett never tires of performing the songs made famous with his Union Gap bandmates. The hugely popular five-man pop-rock group, remembered for their string of late 60s hits including "Woman, Woman," "Lady Willpower," and "This Girl is a Woman Now," now features all new members but retains one of the most distinctive mu...

  • Donny Osmond takes his show on the road

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jul 1, 2023

    Fans of Donny Osmond won't have to travel to Las Vegas to experience the singer's long-running popular stage show currently headlining at Harrah's Casino. The 70s teen idol begins his summer tour in July, his first in almost seven years (see www.donny.com for cities and dates). "I'm taking it across the country for people who can't get to Las Vegas," said Osmond from Las Vegas. "I'm bringing the entire company – singers, dancers, musicians, and a full video production. I'm really looking f...

  • Calling all Knuckleheads: Touring with the Three Stooges

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jun 1, 2023

    Despite extensive on-screen credits throughout their long careers, the Three Stooges comedy team only spent about a month or two a year in front of the cameras, rarely producing more than 10 of their beloved comedy shorts a year. According to long-time Stooges fan Gary Lassin, the slapstick legends were on the road for up to six months a year, crisscrossing the country to perform largely vaudeville-like acts on stage. Those journeys, from the 1920s to the 1960s, are now recounted in exquisite...

  • Fans are still dreaming of Jeannie

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|May 1, 2023

    No doubt many a teenage lad, and even a few adults, developed a major crush on Barbara Eden during her five-season run in the 1960s sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie." Now 91, fans are delighted to see the actress looking so youthful and healthy. "I have exercised all my life and now do a mild spin (stationary) bicycle and walking," Eden said from her home in Los Angeles. "I've always been careful about what I eat but I'm not fanatic about it – I'm a carnivore! I try to stay away from sugar, but u...

  • The latest big news from Rich Little

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Mar 1, 2023

    For those of us who lived through the 70s and 80s, the comedic impressionist Rich Little was everywhere on television. While he guest-starred in many classic TV shows, Little will always be remembered for his hilarious appearances on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast TV series in the 1970s and early 80s. "I look back on those Dean Martin Roasts – and I did 24 of them – with much affection," said Little from Las Vegas, where he has been a long-time resident. "Aside from Ruth Buzzi, I'm the only reg...

  • Adrienne Barbeau: From musicals to monsters

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Feb 1, 2023

    Before "Grease," the hit 1978 movie, there was "Grease" the musical theater production first performed in Chicago in 1971 before moving to Broadway a year later for over 3,000 performances. Adrienne Barbeau, who played Rizzo during the first five months of the show's run, helped commemorate the 50th anniversary of the production as a co-editor of the 2022 book, "Grease, Tell Me More, Tell Me More – Stories from the Broadway Phenomenon That Started It All." It features personal anecdotes from t...

  • Bill Mumy: More than 'Lost in Space'

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jan 1, 2023

    With a new 400+ page autobiography recently published, Bill Mumy's "Danger Will Robinson: The Full Mumy – A Memoir," is crammed with fascinating facts and stories recalling his long acting and musical career (see www.NCPBooks.com). "'Lost in Space' is definitely covered and certainly Will Robinson is the character most people identify with me," said Mumy from Los Angeles. But despite the book's title, the author examines much more than just the galaxy-wandering Robinson family. Riveted to his o...

  • Christmas magic with Ilene Graff

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Dec 1, 2022

    Perhaps you remember her as TV mom Marsha Owens in ABC's popular 80s sitcom "Mr. Belvedere," starring alongside baseballer-turned-actor Bob Uecker and British actor Christopher Hewett in the title role. But Ilene Graff is also an established singer whose career began in musical theater. In recent years her live festive Christmas special, "The Ilene Graff Holiday Show," has delighted audiences at 54 Below, a supper club in the basement of New York's famed Studio 54 theater. "We couldn't do it...

  • A front-row seat to entertainment history

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Nov 1, 2022

    Aside from the songwriters, imagine being the first person on the planet to enjoy the words and music of some of the greatest classic songs to ever appear in Broadway and Hollywood productions. Nancy Olson Livingston did not have to imagine. As she writes in her new November autobiography, "A Front Row Seat," her lyricist husband Alan J. Lerner and composer partner Frederick "Fritz" Loewe would regularly serenade her with their latest compositions throughout the 1950s. "We were living in New...

  • The screen horrors of Lynda Day George

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Oct 1, 2022

    While best known for joining the cast of the popular CBS spy series "Mission: Impossible" for the last two seasons in the early 70s, Lynda Day George became something of a minor horror movie icon before retiring from acting in the late 80s. In the horror realm, she portrayed characters threatened by an army of ants ("Ants," 1977), a pack of wild dogs ("Day of the Animals," 1977), a demonic force ("Beyond Evil," 1980), a haunted mirror ("Fear No Evil," 1969), a chainsaw-wielding killer ("Pieces,"...

  • Adam-12's Kent McCord still on duty for fans

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Sep 1, 2022

    Not even a pandemic could slow down Kent McCord's desire to interact with admirers, even if only through virtual fan conventions. "I've done several of these online over the last two years and always enjoy talking with fans," said McCord, who turns 80 in September, from his Los Angeles home. Best known as one half of the crime-fighting police duo on "Adam-12," McCord's Hollywood career can be traced to college days in early 1961 when a fellow student invited him to participate in a friendly...

  • Cynthia Geary heads to hospice in new TV series

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Aug 1, 2022

    Emmy-nominated actress Cynthia Geary was immediately drawn to her latest character Charley Copeland, a hospice nurse in the compelling new drama series "Going Home." Season one began streaming in June on Pure Flix, a faith and family-friendly media service (see www.pureflix.com). "The death of a loved one is something we will all experience, but I feel like the show sends a positive message in a sad but cathartic way," said Geary from Palm Springs while traveling from her home in Seattle. Set...

  • Singing legend Johnny Mathis still touring at 86

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jul 1, 2022

    Chances are, every time velvet-voiced Johnny Mathis takes center stage during his current U.S. tour, the atmosphere could turn Misty. Sure, some devoted Mathis fans might swoon teary-eyed with waves of emotional nostalgia witnessing the 86-year-old singing icon in person, but many will just dutifully sway to the familiar soothing melodies as the veteran performer delivers his signature ballads such as "Wonderful! Wonderful!," "Chances Are," and, of course, his 1959 hit, "Misty." Interrupted...

  • 60s pop singer Donna Loren traded fame for family

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jun 1, 2022

    When a top female British singer declined to appear on the premiere episode of the new American musical variety show "Shindig!" on Sept. 16, 1964, the producer knew who to call – Donna Loren. "Dusty Springfield couldn't make the first show, so I was invited to sing her hit 'Wishin' and Hopin'', and became a regular cast member for the rest of the series," said Loren, who turned 75 in March, from her home in Bisbee, Arizona. Loren had already impressed American television audiences six years e...

  • Bill and Susan Hayes are still having the time of their lives on 'Days of Our Lives'

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|May 1, 2022

    Actors Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth were married in 1974. Or was it 1976? Actually, it was both! The pair tied the knot when their "Days of Our Lives" characters (Doug and Julie) married two years after the couple wed in real life. Some 50 years and a collective 5,000 episodes later, the Emmy Award-winning stars of the perennial NBC daytime soap opera are still together both on-screen and off. They recently produced a website, Secrets of Soap Opera Lovers, explaining how the two have lived,...

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